The extraordinary case of an audacious $23 million Ponzi scheme by missing Sydney businesswoman Melissa Caddick and the subsequent, grisly discovery of her severed foot on a beach has been turned into a landmark investigative podcast series by The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes.
Launching on April 11, Liar, Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions will be hosted by the Herald’s Walkley award-winning investigative reporter Kate McClymont and award-winning 60 Minutes reporter Tom Steinfort, with the series uncovering startling new evidence, and features never-before-heard audio of Melissa Caddick as well as interviews from key players speaking for the very first time.
Delving into one of the most captivating crimes of the century, the nine-part series will chart how a seemingly successful financial planner, from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, turned out to be a sociopathic con artist, who stole more than $23 million from mainly family and friends who thought their funds were being invested in shares.
Within hours of her home being raided by ASIC in November 2020 amid questions over an unlicensed financial services business, she disappeared. But this is no ordinary missing persons case.
As McClymont – who won her ninth Walkley for her coverage of the case – and Steinfort unravel the case, they will follow the money trail on a riveting journey through 49-year-old Caddick’s life that will take listeners from upmarket jewellery auction rooms in Hong Kong, to the ski slopes of Aspen and to private islands in the South Pacific.
Featuring chilling audio of Caddick as she leaves phone messages for victims, Liar, Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions follows the web of deceit and behaviour that allowed Caddick to rip off some of her closest friends and ended with her vanishing into thin air on November 12. An Asics running shoe containing her foot was discovered by surfers at a remote beach on the NSW South Coast – the same beach she regularly visited as a child.
Living a privileged life of fast cars, high-end fashion and extravagant overseas trips, the Caddick case has garnered a huge amount of interest from the public with numerous theories on whether she was preparing for an exit strategy, jumped off nearby ocean cliffs, or if she was murdered.
Kate McClymont said: “I have covered all manner of spivs and charlatans during my career, but the twists and turns in the Melissa Caddick story is unlike anything I have ever come across.
“The chilling manner in which she ruthlessly stripped her family and friends of their life savings in order to feed her insatiable need for a life of luxury is truly gobsmacking. But you don’t become the Queen of the Con overnight and our discovery of her earlier crimes leaves you feeling you have been dealing with someone purely evil.”
Tom Steinfort said: “Still to this day, I regularly get strangers approaching me in the street wanting to share with me their theory on what really happened in this case. The Melissa Caddick story has struck a chord like few others I can remember.
“The deeper you dig, the stranger it gets…and trust me, we’ve done some serious digging for this podcast! Some of the new evidence we’ve managed to uncover is jaw dropping – and just wait until you hear from Melissa herself.”
Bevan Shields, editor of The Sydney Morning Herald said: “Watching Kate McClymont cover the Melissa Caddick story over the past two years has been inspiring and riveting. Her dedication, thoroughness and sheer enthusiasm in chasing a story that has the whole country talking has been extraordinary.
“Over the past few months Kate has turned her attention to digging deeper into the story and telling it via a new medium – a podcast with Tom. I’ve had many subscribers contact me wondering when they’ll get their next ‘hit’ of Kate McClymont journalism and I’m thrilled to tell them it is imminent.
“I’ve listened to the first episode and am already hooked at the power of investigative journalism and Kate’s easy style of drawing you into a conversation about one of the great Sydney stories.”
Kirsty Thomson, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes said: “Tom’s series of stories on 60 Minutes and Kate’s investigations for The Sydney Morning Herald have revealed so much about the depth and scale of this extraordinary con. It’s so exciting to see them now come together on ‘Liar, Liar’ to bring us tantalising new details about Melissa Caddick’s life from many people who have never spoken publicly before.”
Liar, Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions is the definitive investigation into the Caddick mystery and the ultimate multi-million dollar long con, and will premiere on Monday, April 11 on SPOTIFY and wherever you get your podcasts.